For businesses that employ the cloud, finding personnel that are experienced in the use of this infrastructure is crucial. Certification is perhaps the best way for you to ensure that you are up to date on the latest information and developments in the cloud industry. Whether you work in the realm of IT or you are simply looking to enhance your knowledge of the cloud, there are a number of certifications that you can pursue.
Though many cloud vendors offer their own certifications, you can enhance your cloud expertise by seeking a wide array of vendor-neutral certifications from entities across the cloud market. Read on to take a look at five of the most important vendor-neutral cloud computing certifications for professionals:
Certificate of Cloud Security Knowledge (CCSK)
Offered through the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), the CCSK certification gauges your competence in the realm of general cloud security. To obtain this certification, you must fulfill the requirements of an exam in which you will display your mastery of such topics as encryption, security operations, and general compliance. Moreover, the CCSK represents your expertise at developing cloud security programs that adhere to international standards. By holding this certification, you will not only stand out from other professionals in your field, but you will also connect with resources to bolster your career.
In preparation for the CCSK exam, you should review information from the CSA Security Guidance for Critical Areas of Focus in Cloud Computing V3 and the European Union’s Agency for Network and Information Security. The CSA also operates two CCSK educational courses, the first of which covers basic cloud security topics. The second course allows you to expand upon your cloud security applications with hands-on lessons.
Rackspace has developed the Cloud University (CloudU) certification program for both IT workers and business administrators. This curriculum focuses primarily on cloud basics for those who are looking to enhance their expertise in this field. For this reason, CloudU certification is best suited for professionals who are not experienced cloud developers, engineers, or other specialists.
CloudU allows any professional to access its learning tools both online and through its Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). However, you must complete all 10 available courses before you are eligible for certification. Rackspace allows you to complete each of these lessons at your leisure, providing you with educational activities that take less than 10 minutes to complete. More importantly, the learning materials in each of these lessons will prepare you to take the 50-question CloudU certification exam.
CompTIA Cloud Essentials
An entry-level cloud certification, Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) Cloud Essentials allows you to hone your expertise in the fundamentals of cloud computing. This certification also helps you gain an understanding of the cloud for use in both technical and business applications. As such, CompTIA designed its Cloud Essentials certification course not for IT workers alone, but for all professionals that are looking to master cloud migration and governance.
You will receive your Cloud Essentials certification following the successful completion of a comprehensive exam. This assessment not only covers cloud basics, but also focuses on more specific use scenarios. For example, you must complete a risk-and-consequences section that will test your proficiency in cloud applications for a variety of business needs. In addition, the Cloud Essentials exam will test you on cloud knowledge that is relevant to your specific line of work. Once you obtain your Cloud Essentials certification, you will not have to re-certify for three years.
A step up from the Cloud Essentials certification, CompTIA Cloud+ is designed for professionals with at least two years of experience with the cloud or IT. You should seek this certification if you are either looking to bolster your existing IT career or if you are an IT infrastructure administrator at your company.
As such, you should only seek Cloud+ certification if you have previous knowledge of essential cloud competencies such as security and methodology. Moreover, you will need to possess an understanding of cloud infrastructure, its implementation, and its maintenance. This 100-question exam also requires previous knowledge of cloud virtualization.
You can find study guides and practice exams on the CompTIA website that will help prepare you for the Cloud+ certification exam. This platform also features a test-specific training page. To maintain your Cloud+ certification, you must either complete a recertification exam every three years or complete at least 50 continuing education units.
Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP)
Sponsored by both the CSA and (ISC)2, the CCSP certification presents an opportunity for you to demonstrate the highest level of cloud mastery. This certification will serve as verification of your knowledge about cloud best practices relating to the security of information systems, applications, and more. In addition, the CCSP places heavy emphasis on cloud compliance and other regulatory processes.
Most importantly, however, the certification indicates that you have spent ample time working hands-on with cloud security practices. You are only eligible to take the CCSP certification exam if you possess at least five years of experience in a professional IT role. You must have spent three of these years as an information security employee and one in cloud security. However, you can subvert these requirements if you obtain the organization’s CISSP certification.
If you meet these various qualifications, then you may sit for the 125-question CCSP exam. After passing with a score of at least 700, you must then agree to the organization’s Code of Ethics and receive an endorsement on your application before you can earn your CCSP certificate.